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White adobe and lime cubes are cut against the sky. We are in Las Negras, a fishing paradise reminiscent of hippies in which only 350 souls live.See 11 photos
The best beaches of Cabo de Gata
At least, from September to June; In July and August, the smell of Maresia - that's what the Canary Islands call the air laden with marine humidity - blends with the sweet aroma of the protective cream of tourists, who come to meet the sun in one of the most particular natural parks of the peninsula.
Cabo de Gata-Níjar, with its volcanic earth tongues plunging into the sea, with its dramatic roads drawing curves on the cliffs, is a landscape jewel that is hard to resist. But, this time, we do not want to monopolize everything, get tired, make kilometers and kilometers to cross out each of its highlights from our list or focus on its large municipalities and its endless possibilities of partying: we settle for what comes to us from its untamed beauty, that will not be little.
Our goal is to become one with the pitas that sway with the wind, merge with its character of peaceful observers.
In this landscape nobody knows how to say "stress" © Getty Images
The Spa Hotel Cala Grande camouflages itself in the town's profile thanks to its traditional architecture: square and very white volumes, orange stone accents, desert vegetation. From its windows you can see the pool and the sea, and you can sense that easy life of the summer vacations from before, those in which it was not uncommon to end up meeting all the guests of the accommodation.
Exactly that will happen here: the second day, between the breakfast fruit trays, we will already have familiar faces that smile at us from behind the croissant. Because the Cala Grande is not one of those giant mamotretos that populate the Spanish coast; It is a small hotel, of people who speak softly, in which it is impossible to stress because there are too many bathers in the garden or in the spa, for which, in fact, it is necessary to book.
Take a good book to walk between the Balinese beds, hammocks and the king size mattress in the room. But it's fine if you don't finish it; Most likely, the dream catches you between its pages, cradled by the murmur of the water and the sea breeze. Do not be alarmed by this, overcome the horror vacui that reigns in the 21st century: forgetting the "I have to" is precisely the goal.
Traditional architecture nestled in the landscape © Hotel Spa Cala Grande
In Las Negras, fish is king. The best is eaten on La Palma, a sea inn with a terrace that practically hangs over the sea. Their rice and salads also deserve a bite, and the attention of the staff, a good tip: you will not find anything like it in the whole town. It is essential to book. When you do, notice that you want to sit as close as possible to the Mediterranean, and take enough space on your mobile to capture the picture.
If you are looking for signature cuisine, you have another option: go to La Gallineta, in Pozo de los Frailes (20 minutes by car from the hotel). There, you will enjoy a small menu that combines Mediterranean and exotic flavors, and you will be served with exquisite warmth by the staff, who will do everything possible to accommodate your tastes and will explain each dish with true passion . It is essential to book, because its cozy rooms of old home are usually full.
For an even quieter night, than to have dinner in a bathrobe on the terrace of the hotel, the best thing to do is order to take away at the Il Capriccio pizzeria, of Neapolitan owners. Its cuisine is exquisite and abundant, and its prices, adjusted, especially considering that on this shore everything tends to surcharge.
Eat over the sea © Restaurante La Palma
We said that the beach is minutes from the hotel; The same happens with the promenade, from which seductive little streets full of charming little bars, such as Cerro Negro, depart. Stand at the foot of your turquoise windows to have a beer in the freezing process, while you wobble your heels to the rhythm of their elegant and always cheerful music.
In front of it is Guillermina, one of those shops perfect to get in tune with the air of free love that is breathed in the town, where it is not uncommon to see old people with dreadlocks, dogs that take care of themselves and young people full of earrings selling handicrafts . The wave of long dresses and summer prints extends to other businesses, such as Bella's trunk or Gata's Workshop ; Search through their coat racks until you find those fabrics that always remind you of this summer.
Mediterranean promenade © iStock
A few steps away from the hotel is the beach, with songs and sand, not too comfortable. From there boats leave for the Cala de San Pedro, hippie and squat redoubt turned into tourist attraction.
For not having that golden and soft sand that we expect from an oesis, and although we have said that we do not want to embark on a busy tour through the park, we propose a small getaway: to the nearby Playazo, in Rodalquilar.
Its crystalline waters can be reached perfectly by car. In addition, it has a nudist corner - it is usually to the south - and has the most of the views of both the Castle of San Ramón, a fortification of the XVIII, and the spectacular cliffs of La Molata . However, in July and August, better refrain from your visit if you are a misanthrope : the ease of access promotes agglomeration. For these cases, it is preferable to start walking towards one of the most hidden shores of the Cape, such as Cala Rajá, or even, if you like to drive, go along the sea until you find that redoubt of peace that configures the ideal postcard of our vacation .
El Playazo: Kilometers of golden sand and turquoise waters © AlamySee 11 photos
The best beaches of Cabo de Gata